The first Olympic Solidarity course was held in Fiji ©FSA

The International Surfing Association (ISA) held its first-ever Olympic Solidarity-funded coaching course in Fiji.

Level one and level two courses took place in the Pacific country in collaboration with the Fiji Surfing Association and Fijian National Olympic Committee.

Olympic Solidarity is funding provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to support National Olympic Committees around the world, particularly those with the greatest need.

With surfing accepted to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 in August of last year, the sport is now eligible to access the funds to help the development of the sport.

The courses took place on Malolo Island with coaches from Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa taking part.

ISA course presenter Lee Ryan, from New Zealand, oversaw those involved with expert instruction. 

Further courses are now planned in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

Surfing is now eligible for funding having been accepted as an Olympic sport ©FSA
Surfing is now eligible for funding having been accepted as an Olympic sport ©FSA

"We are grateful to Olympic Solidarity and the IOC for supporting the ISA and our friends in Oceania on this debut of our collaboration," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

"Olympic Solidarity represents a fantastic opportunity for the ISA, our surf coaches and surfers around the world to benefit from surfing's inclusion in the Olympic Games through such coaching courses. 

"The ISA is committed to working closely with the IOC and Olympic Solidarity to maximise this collaborative opportunity and to help contribute to the growth and well-being of the sport.

"This is one of the numerous examples of the positive, global impact of Olympic surfing. 

"Olympic Solidarity will be a key tool in bolstering support for surf programmes in traditional surfing nations as well as reaching new surfers in non-traditional nations that wish to practice the sport."